In the course of the International women’s day celebration members of Women and Sport Commission Sierra Leone glanced at their past as athletes, coaches and administrators during their active days in sport and think about the future of the current crop of female athletes.
In the past women’s participation in sport was overshadowed by their male counterpart and most of them were neglected by their parents, discriminated by friends and in most cases dropped out of school for no good reason.
These were the factors that forced most female athletes to end their career in the time when they are needed most. Because of such pressures majority of quality athletes by then forcefully left sport and concentrated on other things which are totally differ from their actual talents.
Those athletes that we supposed to be seeing at world level were unable to achieve their goal of representing the country at national and international sporting events.
But today things have changed and the whole scenario has become a thing of the past. Female athletes in the various sporting disciplines are performing extremely well in both national and international assignment.
This has made them more influential and most junior athletes do admire them and think of doing exactly as they do.
For instance, the female volleyball team has on several occasion raise the country’s flag high in competitions hosted here in Sierra Leone and outside the country. A wrestler known as Hajaratu Kamara returned home with bronze medals on two occasions.
And quite recently the female national cricket team won the maiden edition of the North West Africa Cricket Council Tournament in the
Gambia after winning all their matches against their counterpart. They did not only bring home the championship trophy but also 4 individual trophies were won by Ann Marie Monica Kamara, Janet Kowa, Aminata Kamara and Linda Bull.
In addition to that Sierra Leone Lawn Tennis starlet Mattu Kamara who is currently based in Thailand on a four year scholarship to continue her education and tennis career won silver medal in the mix doubles at the ITF/CAT junior tennis championship recently hosted in Abuja Nigeria.
In 2012 Ola Sesay became the first female athlete to officially qualify for an Olympic event (Long jump) in the history of the country. She did compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games but she was unable to reach the centre stage of the competition.
Quite recently the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) appointed Madam Elizabeth French and the current FA president Isha Johansen as match commissioner for the period of 2016-2018.
Madam French like other women has served in various capacities as coach, starter, recorder, former FIFA assistant referee and the only female umpire West Africa can boost off and she is also one of the two in the entire Africa.
With all these successes gained by womenfolk’s in Sierra Leone sport the commission is looking forward to a brighter future that will create more opportunity for female athletes, coaches and administrators to achieve their dreams.